Je suis heureux que ma mère soit vivant (2008)

I am Glad that my mother is alive (2008). I come to realize why I like foreign movies; most of them are for the pure purpose of telling a story, uncensored! Nothing is calculated, nothing is for a healthy ROI, nothing exists because it works the last time.

A simple story, simply act, simple emotion, simply normal it seems. It’s a tragedy of modern-day teenage pregnancy happens in France, the girl has no supports from family, nor an education, especially no Dr. Phil around sitting with her and parents discussing. Teenager single mother, Julie Martino (Sophie Cattani) pregnant at 17, with her first son, Thomas Jouvet (Vincent Rottiers). Through Thomas’s memory we learn that his mother abandoned him and his little brother, Patrick/François Jouvet (Olivier Guéritée), when Thomas was 5, and that she was quite un-motherlike during those years raising two sons. However, his memory of her is that she was pretty and loving.

At 12, during a summer vacation at the beach, Thomas abandoned his father in the ocean until he caught up exhausted on a floating platform where Thomas asks his father if he knew his birth mother. “Idiot, idiot, idiot!”,yells his father. Afterwards, Thomas becomes obsess about seeing her birth mother, while treating his adopted parents like dirt. Yet, these parents take no grudges.

In a bold move and some persuasion, he has the address of his mother. Her name has changed, and when he finally meets her, she is pregnant and with a guy. He pulls some excuses and leaves. In revenge he writes her a letter, and announces that she is a whore!

Eight years passed, he finally meets her in person, and befriends the new kid that she has now. Is this a normal reunion and life goes on? I wonder…See, Julie was the first woman he admired or had known his entire life, and he has no girlfriend to speak of, could any of Bowlby’s attachment theories be applied here?Hence, I am sitting on edge waiting for oedpial complex to surface, and/or repressed angers to explode. We get hints, but nothing in-the-face, until the very end.

There is a reason for the title of this movie and you will have to be patient, and there may be forgiveness, but you will have to hear.

See, another thing about foreign movies is that the acting is very natural, which speaks for Rottiers’s performance, he convinced me, and his subtle jaws tightening is like watching a bomb diffusion scene: red wire or black wire!

Overall as I say it’s simple and almost mellow, no formula, no violence, no dramas (American’s).



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